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Tampa Bay crews head to Surfside to assist in rescue operations

Engineers and physicians, plus police K-9 crews, have special operations training focused on collapsed structure rescue.

TAMPA, Fla. — A team of 72 people hit the road Saturday morning from Tampa Bay en route to Surfside, where they'll help to rescue those still unaccounted for after a condominium building collapsed.

The members, made up of engineers and physicians, have special operations training focused on collapsed structure rescue, according to a news release. Police K-9 teams are among the crew members, as well.

The state of Florida called upon the team, officially called Task Force 3, to respond by noon Saturday. It's comprised of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Tampa Fire Rescue and St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.

As of Sunday morning, 156 people remained unaccounted for after the 12-story oceanfront Champlain Towers South Condo collapsed early Thursday. At least four people were killed.

Credit: Florida Task Force 3

"The convoy includes 24 vehicles of equipment for rescue and housing personnel that will allow the Task Force to be fully self supported," the news release states.

They will be assisting efforts in Surfside for the next seven days.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said a "definitive answer" was needed to determine how the condo collapsed, according to the Associated Press.

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